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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blog Tour- EXQUISITE CAPTIVE by Heather Demetrios and a Giveaway!

Hey y'all! I have Heather Demetrios, author of EXQUISITE CAPTIVE here today with a guest post thanks to Amber at Me My Shelf and I Blog Tours for hosting. This book is about jjin and I'm really excited to read it! Oh and make sure to stick around and enter the giveaway! 

Haven't heard of EXQUISITE CAPTIVE ? Check it out!

Exquisite Captive
Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Author: Heather Demetrios
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Hardcover: 480 pages
ISBN: 978-0062318565
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself. 

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

Now on to the post!
Bringing Jinn the Modern World

I’m not really sure why we don’t see a lot of stories about the jinn in the West. In the Middle East and North Africa, these mythological creatures are a normal part of everyday life—ask many Moroccans and they’ll have story after story to share with you, some that they claim are true. The Arabian Nights is a classic read by millions of readers all over the world and countless little girls in the United States dress up as jinn for Halloween. Disney’s Aladdin was a huge hit in my childhood. Yet despite all of this, our interest in stories about vampires, werewolves, and witches is far greater: the jinn remain relatively unexplored.    

I myself didn’t know very much about jinn lore until a writing prompt inspired me to write about a jinni trapped in a bottle. But as soon as the idea came to me, I was hooked. I started thinking…what would it be like to have a master you had to grant wishes for? What if you hated him, and hated having to make his dreams come true? To me, it was endlessly fascinating, thinking about this incredibly powerful magical creature whose power wasn’t theirs to do with as they pleased. Whenever we see jinn portrayed, it is often as a slave. You don’t really think of the word jinni without the word master. I could have just taken the idea and run with it, but I wanted to go deeper into the stories these creatures come from. I had a feeling there was a lot more to the jinn than the conceit of the three wishes.

My main knowledge of the jinn came from watching old episodes of I Dream of Jeannie as a kid—going back and watching those now, I realize that Nalia, my jinn protagonist, would absolutely HATE the portrayal of the happy servant jinni (as do I!). While I continue to find Disney’s Aladdin immensely entertaining, it’s nothing like the original story in The Arabian Nights. I felt like the only way to bring these ancient creatures to a modern teen audience was to delve deeper into the mythology to make the jinn fresh and interesting to audiences who have an insatiable appetite for the fantastic, but have grown tired of the same old mythologies.

I researched everything I could about these creatures and, of course, delved into Arabian Nights. What I found was fascinating: many cultures are rife with jinn lore—not just the Arab world. I learned about ghouls and other creatures that haunt the desert and the variety of types of jinn. It was fascinating to hear how jinn lore intersected with Islamic faith and this was the first time I learned about the legend surrounding King Solomon’s ring, which plays a huge role in the Dark Caravan Cycle. I worked hard to incorporate as much of it as I could into the series and I try to honor the legends and cultures the stories come from in various ways. Sometimes it might be as simple as using a scent that evokes the cultures the jinn come from (sandalwood), or having Nalia’s master be Saudi, rather than just a rich American guy. But instead of writing historical fiction or a re-telling, I wanted to use jinn lore in the context of our modern world in order to make them more accessible and, again, to approach the mythology in a fresh way. My protagonist jinni lives in a mansion in the Hollywood hills and has to grant wishes to stock brokers and drug lords. Her master drives an Aston Martin. But Book Two takes the reader to Morocco, where I did a lot of research about jinn lore, and the third novel takes place in Arjinna, the jinni realm. One of the major geographical features of this land is the Qaf Mountains, which are a feature of the jinn realm in the ancient stories, but the rest of the land comes from my own imagination. It’s a constant balance between the ancient and the modern, my own ideas and those of storytellers who came long before me.

Right now, there aren’t a lot of books about jinn in YA, but we’re starting to see more. It is my hope that my series—as well as the other books that feature jinn that are coming out—will open up new avenues in YA fantasy.

Thanks for stopping by Heather!!!!

About Heather:
When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real, which Publisher's Weekly calls “[An] addictive yet thoughtful debut” about reality TV stardom. She is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, a smoldering fantasy about jinn in Los Angeles and what Kirkus called in its starred review "an intoxicating, richly realized realm of magic, politics, spirituality and history" (#1 in the DARK CARAVAN CYCLE). She is also the author of the upcoming I’ll Meet You There (Winter 2015). I’ll Meet You There is a love story about a young combat veteran and a girl trapped in their small town, both struggling to escape the war at home. Heather is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for youth of limited economic means. She is proud to have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can always find her on Twitter (@HDemetrios), ogling the military dogs she wants to adopt (but can’t because her NYC apartment is way too small). Find out more about Heather and her other books at www.heatherdemetrios.com and www.darkcaravancycle.com 

Giveaway Details: Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships to US only.

23 Winners will get a signed finished copy of Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Tour Schedule for more awesome posts!

October 2nd:
Ex Libris REVIEW

October 3rd:
Imagine a World REVIEW

October 4th:
Two Chicks On Books GUEST POST
Books a la Mode REVIEW

October 5th:
Me, My Shelf and I SPOTLIGHT

October 6th:
Novel Novice REVIEW
Addicted Readers REVIEW

October 7th:

October 8th:
I Heart YA Fiction REVIEW

October 9th:
Once Upon A Twilight REVIEW
Crossroad Reviews REVIEW

October 10th:
Curling Up With A Good Book REVIEW

October 11th:
Book Lovers Life REVIEW

October 12th:
A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW + TENS LIST

1 comment:

  1. Love the post! I really want to see more jinn/ghoul stories. It's such a nice break from all the vamps, wolves, etc. (not that those aren't nice too).


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